U.N. conference adopts extension of Kyoto accord
DOHA, Qatar – Seeking to control global warming, nearly 200 countries agreed Saturday to extend the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that limits the greenhouse gas output of some rich countries, but will only cover about 15 percent of global emissions.
The United States is not a signatory to the treaty.
The extension was adopted by a U.N. climate conference after hard-fought sessions and despite objections from Russia.
The package of decisions also included vague promises of financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, and an affirmation of a previous decision to adopt a new global climate pact by 2015.
Though expectations were low for the two-week conference in Doha, many developing countries rejected the deal as insufficient to put the world on track to fight the rising temperatures that are shifting weather patterns, melting glaciers and raising sea levels.
Some Pacific island nations see this as a threat to their existence.
“This is not where we wanted to be at the end of the meeting, I assure you,” said Nauru Foreign Minister Kieren Keke, who leads an alliance of small island states.
The two-decade-old U.N. climate talks have so far failed in their goal of reducing the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that a vast majority of scientists say are warming the planet.